Thursday, June 2, 2011

ECONOMY - The odds of the Zimbabwean dollar flies on eBay

Five dollars, that is what is currently the 100 bill 000 billion Zimbabwean dollars. Not in Zimbabwe, but on the auction site eBay. Highly sought by collectors, these notes traded at a price up to fifteen times what they were worth when they were outstanding. Over the past ten years, President Robert Mugabe has tried to revive the economy of his country by running the printing presses.

The result: hyperinflation [up 238 000 000%] accompanied by a surge in the number of zeros on banknotes. Than 100 000 billion - the largest cut ever issued - has circulated a few months before the Zimbabwe dollar is officially abandoned as official currency in April 2009 [at least one year].

Today, transactions are in foreign currencies, primarily U.S. dollars and South African rand. But these old notes still worth something - at least outside the country. Thanks in part to his name, "dollar", that currency is in high demand since the global financial crisis and rising public spending have revived the specter of inflation in the United States.

"People buy these [dollars] a joke, they show off by saying that is what will happen here soon," said David Laties, a numismatist wholesaler of Highland, in upstate New York. Those who were smart enough to buy larger cuts when they were still outstanding, have made a big deal. David Laties has taken the risk to acquire for U.S.

$ 150 000 in South Africa and Tanzania, with traffickers used to smuggle the border with money or goods. As for Frank Templeton, a trader on Wall Street to retire, he bought "several billion billion Zimbabwean dollars," through a broker for Bank of Zimbabwe, at a price of $ 1 or 2 U.S..

He now sells them on eBay for 5 to 6 dollars. "The [investor] Warren Buffett has made many millionaires, he joked, but I am making multibillion-dollar". Only officials of the Central Bank of Zimbabwe know how many tickets 100 000 billion dollars have been printed. According to sellers, this number is between 5 and 7 million.

But after the serial numbers and denominations of stocks available on the collectors' market, they think that only a portion of these notes has been circulated. Some suspect, however, officials of the Central Bank of Zimbabwe currently sell their surplus to intermediaries. If purists are only interested in new notes, the cuts are still used takers in Harare, Zimbabwe's capital.

In a mall frequented by tourists, Gamuchirai Kaparadza proposes dollars amid local pottery and stone objects of soap. Tickets go for U.S. $ 1-10, depending on the customer's ability to haggle. "The cuts of 100 000 billion go like hotcakes," said the trader. But they are not easy to recover because people have realized that they could make money.

" Since the Government has never tried to pick up tickets or permits the exchange, Zimbabweans still have packages at home. President Mugabe has certainly ensured that the Zimbabwean dollar would soon be reintroduced, but members of his government are not obviously not convinced. Last year, during a public event, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has told a peasant he would do better to use the bundles hidden under his bed as "engraisdans his fields."

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